David Rodigan Interview

Reggae | Thursday 17th November 2011 | Annalisa

The legendary DJ talks to us about his love for Reggae music, his upcoming Dubwise compilation and his energetic performances.

Why do you prefer Reggae to other forms of music?

Reggae music is my passion. It has very positive elements within it; we're talking about concious Reggae music as opposed to thug endorsement, the glorification of violence or homophobic type of nonsense that I am not remotely interested in. A great deal of Reggae music is about situations we find ourselves in everyday life, from oppression and the affairs of the heart to freedom. It is a reflection of what has happened in Jamaican society stretching back over 500 years, from 400 years of enslavement, to freedom, to independence from a colonial system in 1962 and since. There are aspects of the music that reflect the cultural and social world in which the music was born.

You've gigged all around the world from Jamaica to Japan. What area of the world do you get excited about playing at?

I always get excited about playing in Jamaica and Italy; Italy is a fabulous place to play because they are really passionate, as are the Germans. I have immensely enjoyed playing in Germany, Italy, England - that goes without saying - and New York since 1985; I love that city and its vibe.

Tell us about your latest compilation, David Rodigan's Dubwise Shower?

It is a reflection of great Dub instrumentals created in Jamaica and more recent Dubs created in Europe. The purpose of the compilation was to join up the dots between Dubstep and Jamaican Dub and to reflect upon the origins of Dub music, which has had an unquestionable influence on Dubstep.

You use a Jamaican accent in some of your performances; what is your favourite catch phrase?

I have been very conscious not to attempt to talk in Jamaican when I do public shows because I don't want to appear as though I'm trying to be something I'm not. It is inevitable, though, that there will be the odd occasion when I say things that have a Jamaican lilt, a patois lilt. I do have a couple of catch phrases that people have identified me with..."Gimme some signal!"

Do you act in your performances?

What I do on stage is not acting. I mean, occasionally I may act the fool but that is what is required from an entertainer and I always use humour to lighten the mood. I'm very enthusiastic about what I do but it is very real, not acting.

Can you recall a memorable moment with a Reggae artist that you could share with us?

One of the most memorable moments in my career was interviewing Alton Ellis for the first time back in 1981. I thought that Ellis was the greatest singer that had ever been put on this planet. He is truely awesome and has never been given the credit he deserves. I was fortunate enough to become a personal friend of his over the years and I feel very privileged.

David Rodigan's newest release, Dubwize Shower, is available to buy now from all good retailers!